Krzysztof was a Polish composer and jazz pianist. Born in Poland 1931 and passed in Warsaw in 1969. Today the 27th is his birthday. His music is beautiful and at times haunting. If you have not heard of him or his music, you must discover. He worked and wrote music for Roman Polanski’s early films. Early on he changed his last name from Trzciński to the stage name of Komeda because of the unpopular view the Communism government held toward jazz. In the late 50’s The Komeda Sextet was the first Polish jazz group playing modern jazz, inspired by The Modern Jazz Quartet and Gerry Mulligan’s Quartet. I have been totally taken by this artist when I discovered his music last year. He died tragically from a hematoma, In Roman Polański’s memoirs he wrote that as a result a of friendly rough-and-tumble at a drinking party with friend Marek Hłasko, Komeda fell down and suffered head injuries. Discover and enjoy!!
Well this wonderful early afternoon I’m listening to Bill Charlap’s “Somewhere” The songs of Leonard Bernstein album. He is a strong modern jazz pianist with the gift of interpreting standards into something beautiful. This album released in 2004 on the Blue Note label with Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, one of the best rhythm sections in jazz today. Bill Charlap displays influences of Tommy Flanagan and one of my favorites Hank Jones, he’s one of the strongest pianists to be heard today almost creating his own beat on the keys and his solo’s are special. Sometimes the difference between a good pianist and a rare and gifted performer like Mr. Charlap is simply the touch of the keys, and he has created an incredible touch. You will enjoy this album and return to it often.
The jazz world has forgotten him, passed him by, like so many others. In 1944 he was playing with Parker, and Gillespie recording with Gillespie in 44 and 46, with Parker in 48 to 50, and with Stan Getz from 49 to 51. He was one of the Bebop pioneers. I just came across his name while doing research and have discovered some really good music. I picked up several of his albums and he’s become one of my favorites.
Al Haig…A brief article bt Scott Yarnow: One of the finest pianists of the bop era (and one who learned from Bud Powell’s innovations quite early), Al Haig was quite busy during two periods of his career but unfortunately was pretty obscure in the years between. After serving in the Coast Guard (playing in bands during 1942-1944) and freelancing around Boston, Haig worked steadily with Dizzy Gillespie (1945-1946), Charlie Parker (1948-1950), and Stan Getz (1949-1951); and was on many recordings, mostly as a sideman (including some classic Diz and Bird sessions) but also as a leader for Spotlite, Dawn, and Prestige. However (other than little-known dates in 1954 for Esoteric, Swing, and Period), Haig did not lead any more albums until 1974. He played fairly often during the 1951-1973 period, but was generally overlooked. That changed during his last decade, when he was finally recognized as a bop giant and recorded for Spotlite, Choice, SeaBreeze, Interplay, and several Japanese and European labels. — Scott Yanow
A very lyrical set, enjoyable and speaks of a deep talent, someone who was in love with the music.